Bright Sparks

Springtime at Song By Toad

Two recent releases (see below M'Lud) nod to the new wind in Toad's sails.

Daisy Victoria - Nobody Dies and Heart Full of Beef EPs

An old message brought to you by a new deliverer. Both EPs are brilliant, independent, fully rounded pop records with guts; and made without (though I can only suspect this to be the case) any targets, or Twitter followers or trajectories in mind.

Dub Thompson - 9 Songs

It's abstract like some teen not being able to tell you what time they're home, or what it is they are listening to; abstraction and avoidance taken to the level of an artform.

Blood of the Bull – Bend Over

It’s this feeling of elegant, Bohemian chamber pop; the sound of suede and crushed velvet and absinthe in the afternoon.

The Probes – Synesthesia

Now, normally I have a real issue with listening to bands that look like lad bands. They pop up as if freshly baked off a conveyor belt. Imagine; every day, different trainers. Bleugh.

Shiny Darkly - Little Earth LP and Dead Stars EP

Shiny Darkly have a discovered that Chameleons sound in a dusty old box in a Copenhagen attic (probably left there around 2003)and treated it to a bit of a rub down with the best sonic beeswax on the market. In fact, they’ve taken it out, reclothed it and given it a slap up lunch, if you take the contents of this record at face value.


There are slight variations on the theme; but you know, it’s temporary, and we’re back to dragging the sonic stone round a Piranesi-like landscape.

The Bohicas - XXX - Swarm

I want it to be longer, louder, harsher, brasher, messier, wronger, less perfect; even if a bit less perfect; please. Please?

Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Dreamzone

I get the feeling that I'll get addicted to the LP when it comes out, as there is this nagging sense that Jaakko is onto something. Lord knows what.

UMA – Vanity

It’s deceptively quiet, under the radar music that heralds (I bloody hope) a great LP from this German duo.

Douglas Dare - Seven Hours EP

Dare comes along and lights a psychic firework in what I imagined to be an increasingly dull landscape.

Not Made In China – Southernisms

Things like Cancel the Mortgage and Sick of Slx are waspish at times – the exasperated laments of Middle England somehow uprooted from the daytime TV / 5live phone in inanities and given a groovy edge.

Notes from the Fireside - Stardate - April 2013

<--break- />Such is the album’s quality that, purely for coining the phrase "inform, educate and entertain", I forgive Lord Reith’s utterly spineless behaviour during the 1926 general strike.

WTCHRS - Round and Round

It's actually the sort of single that could be a springboard for something more powerful, and more gripping.

East India Youth - Hostel EP

East India Youth’s real strength is being able to balance a whole hod of ideas in a very deft manner. It’s smartly tailored, urbane, soulful music, but independent and with enough teeth showing to keep the listener on their toes.

Galoshins – EP1 and EP2

Long players are fine and dandy. The Galoshins LP is a case in point for the defence.

Beat Mark – Move On

Move On is very much like the mumbling melodies that Lush were great at, albeit with a sort of Grace Slick coda, you might be twirling your cocktail stick in the remnants of your drink, but you’ve got some pretty tough plans cooking at the same time.

Román Ramón – Nombradía Pt1: En Desuso

At times it can miss and sort of sink onto an uber-intellectual silly soup (Justo, I’m thinking of you here), but when it’s right it’s… well, fantastic.

Two Tears For Barbarella – Hidden Depths

...such is the hothouse atmosphere of the music that four tracks are more than enough to digest at first sitting: this no-nonsense and often angsty EP really leaves its mark with the attitude that is cut deep into the recording and an obvious, essential part of the band’s DNA.

September Girls - Green Eyed bw Danny Wood

The song deals with that eternal question that – like the common cold - never seems to find a cure: “relationships with boys”.

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